Synopsis The roles of the United Nations in the process of peacebuilding in postconflict nations; emphasis on the 14-year civil war of the republic of LiberiaAccording to Michael W. Doyleand Nicholas Sambanis, peacebuilding refers to a post conflict reconstruction,organized to foster economic and social cooperation with the purpose ofbuilding confidence among previously warring parties, developing the social,political, and economic infrastructure to prevent future violence, and layingthe foundations for a durable peace. In the early 1990s, there was asignificant increase in the use of UN authorized peace operations (Doyle andSambanis 2006).
This reflected a new wave of interventionism and redefined anew generation of strategies in peacebuilding. According to Kofi Annan, theformer Secretary-General of the United Nations, those peace operations wereintended to fill a ‘gaping hole’ in the Organization’s institutional andstructural capacity to support countries in transition from violent conflict tosustainable peace. It is as part of this reason, that in September 2003, theUnited Nations Mission in Liberia, was established by the Security Council ofthe UN to help acieve sustainable peace in Liberia. Problem Statement The United Nations is tasked toattain and maintain international peace and security. In doing this, the UnitedNations, leads the responsibility on peacebuilding in post conflict societies.But a number of scholars have in recent times challenged the actual roles ofpeacekeeping missions in peacebuilding processes. Thus, from the early 1990s,activities of peacebuilding at the conceptual, theoretical and operationallevels have suffered imprecision, and have also been bedevilled with ideologicaldifferences and competing organisational mandates ( Barnett et al 2007;McCandless 2008). The lack of conceptual clarity, heightened by the inadequacyof resources, poor policies and institutional arrangements, continues tocompromise the effectiveness of peacebuilding as a process (Call 2005;McCandless 2008).
The major arguments that recurrently come up in the academiaand at the UN levels is whether Peacebuilding only involves measures aimed atlessening the risk of lapsing or relapsing into conflict, to strengthennational capacities at all levels for conflict management, and to lay thefoundations for sustainable peace and development, whether peacebuildingapplies to all phases of a conflict or only to post-conflict ones; whether theprocess is primarily political or developmental in nature; whether it shouldfocus primarily on addressing root causes or should engage in institutionbuilding and/or changing attitudes and behaviours (McCandless & Doe2007:5–6; McCandless 2008). Research Questions In what ways did the UnitedNations help restore peace in Liberia after the 14-year Civil War? How committed was the United Nations towardsrestoring peace in Liberia after the conflict? Howcollaborative were the warring factions in the post conflict peacebuildingprocesses as carried out and supervised by the United Nations? Whatapproaches were adopted by the United Nations in the post conflictpeacebuilding process in Liberia?Listof References Barnett, M, Kim H, O’Donnell, Mand Sitea, L 2007. Peacebuilding: what is in a name? Global Governance, 13(1)(January–March). Call, C 2005.Institutionalizing peace: a review of post-conflict concepts and issues forDPA. Consultant report for Policy Planning Unit, UN Department of PoliticalAffairs, 31 January. Liberia 2006.
Breaking with thepast: from conflict to development, In Interim poverty reduction strategy.Republic of Liberia. Liberia and United NationsDevelopment Programme (UNDP), Liberia 2006. Mobilizing capacity forreconstruction and development, national human development report. Liberia:Republic or Liberia and UNDP. Liberia 2008. Poverty reductionstrategy, Republic of Liberia.
Mccandless, E, 2008. Lessonsfrom Liberia Integrated approaches to peacebuilding in transitional settings.ISS Paper 161. Mccandless, E and Doe, S 2007.Strengthening peacebuilding efforts in Liberia: a discussion document for UNMILand the UNCT.
15 April. O/DSRSG for Recovery and Governance. UNMIL: Liberia. Paris, R 2004. At war’s end:building peace after civil conflict. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Doyle, W. M and Sambanis, N2006. Making War and Building Peace United Nations Peace Operations. PrincetonUniversity Press Princeton and Oxford. Stedman, S. J et al. eds.
2002.Ending Civil Wars: The Implementation of Peace Agreements. Boulder, CO: LynneRienner.
United Nations 1995. Supplementto ‘An agenda for peace.’ Position paper of the Secretary-General on theoccasion of the fiftieth anniversary of the United Nations. UN DocA/50/60/-S/1995/1 (3 January). Available at org/Docs/SG/agsupp.html> accessed 15January 2017.
org/Docs/SG/agsupp.html> accessed 15January 2017.